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Power Generation Initiative Updates

Oregon – Charging Vehicles with Renewable Energy Overview

Published on 11 Mar 2016  |   Written by    |  


On March 11, 2016, Governor Kate Brown of Oregon signed the Clean Energy and Coal Transition Act. This legislation eliminates coal from Oregon’s energy portfolio and requires the state’s largest utilities to generate 50 percent of their electricity from renewable energy resources by 2040. The legislation also requires utilities to propose investments in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. The simultaneous transition to renewable energy power generation and the electrification of transportation is a win-win for Oregon, utilities and energy customers. It ensures the benefits of renewable energy power generation, including carbon reduction and cleaner emissions, are multiplied across the transportation sector.

Electric vehicle charging also enhances the capacity of utilities to meet the 50 percent renewable energy generation requirement, by providing one more tool to manage intermittent resources in the grid. Oregon’s efforts follow California’s climate change legislation, Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act, signed into law this past fall, as well as the recent approval of proposals to invest in EV Infrastructure by San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison.


The Clean Energy and Coal Transition Act requires Oregon’s utilities to submit proposals to the Public Utility Commission (PUC) on programs that can include investment in or customer rebates for EV charging infrastructure. Under the legislation, utilities are authorized to recover cost from all rate payers. This landmark bipartisan bill received support from regional and national environmental groups, Oregon’s two largest electric utilities, Portland General Electric and Pacific Power, and the state's utility consumer advocate. Oregon’s PUC is given criteria to assess the utility proposals for EV infrastructure development. The legislation require the PUC to conclude the utility’s EV infrastructure program:  Is a prudent use of resources that will be utilized  Will support the utility’s electrical system  Will assist in grid management, including operational flexibility and integrating renewable energy resources into the grid  Is reasonably expected to stimulate innovation and competition, as well as increase consumer choice in EV charging and related infrastructure services

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The American Council On Renewable Energy

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